Who’s got your back?

You’ve planned an exciting night out. It’s 1 a.m. The music is blasting. You’re surrounded by a crowd. You’re having the time of your life. But are you aware of what’s going on around you?

A lot can happen during a night out. When was the last time you really stopped and took a look at your surroundings when you were out? Could a dangerous fight start right next to you? Could you step on a broken glass and require a hospital visit? Are people being dangerously over-served?

Well, if you’re out at a venue and you see the sticker below on the door, you’ll know that the staff there has your back. They’re there to ensure your night is safer so that you make it home happy and in one piece.

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This sticker means that the venue is Best Bar None accredited. Best Bar None, a partnership between the City of Edmonton’s Responsible Hospitality Edmonton, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and the Edmonton Police Service, is a voluntary program for nightlife venues, designed to keep staff and patrons safe while recognizing excellence in their industry. The staff and management of a Best Bar None venue work tirelessly to prove that their policies and practices keep you safe. It’s a rigorous criteria of over 100 items covering everything from responsible service to customer care.

Best Bar None reduces violence and alcohol-related harm in and around late night venues. It makes the surrounding area safer and more appealing, day or night. And it reduces the need for emergency response services.

The doorman that sees an issue brewing and jumps in before a fight can escalate? The porter that scoops up a broken glass before you can even register that it’s broken? The bartender that wisely stops serving that girl who has been claiming every song is her favourite song for the past hour? They all work at a Best Bar None venue, and are committed to you ensuring you have a safe and fun night out.

BBN Awards 2014

At the fifth Best Bar None awards that took place on November 20, 2014, 53 venues were accredited. Out of all applicants, these pubs, lounges, clubs and casinos went the extra mile to ensure their businesses meet rigorous safety standards while serving up a fun night out.

In addition, a judging panel reviewed the accredited establishments in order to determine a winner, 1st runner-up in each category (Hotel/Restaurant Lounge, Pub, Large Pub, Bar/Lounge, Club and Casino).

Check out this year’s accredited venues and winners.

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Edmonton is fortunate to enjoy a strong economy, incredible job creation and an exceptional quality of life. Not to mention the recreational, social and cultural opportunities that come with having a vibrant nightlife.

A 2010 survey showed that economic output generated in Edmonton by the late-night hospitality sector was $686 million. The sector also created over 5,800 full-time equivalent jobs in 2010, an important employer for our young adults.

In 2010, there were 235 late-night (open after midnight) entertainment establishments in Edmonton, and over 20 million people visited these venues that year. Currently, the number of Class A Minors Prohibited venues has grown to 329. When you include Class A Minors Allowed – the current number of venues is 1094.

Edmonton’s vibrant nightlife greatly contributes to our economy and creates an exceptional atmosphere in our city.

The City of Edmonton congratulates the outstanding businesses that contribute to a safe and enjoyable nightlife in our city. For a full list of accredited venues and winners and more information about the program, please visit www.bestbarnone.ab.ca.

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About the Author
Maya Filipovic
Maya Filipovic is a Communications Advisor for the City's Sustainable Development branch.
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